Reminder: Donald Trump Avoided Vietnam Draft Because His Feet Hurt

As president bans transgender people who want to serve, let’s look back at why he didn’t

Last Updated: July 26, 2017 @ 4:26 PM

It’s funny that for all of Donald Trump’s complaints — about the media, about his attorney general, about Hillary Clinton — he so rarely complains about his feet.

It was his bad feet, after all, that helped him avoid the draft and Vietnam. As the New York Times reported, when Trump graduated college and became draft-eligible in 1968, he was a strapping 6-foot-2, with an athletic build and “unblemished” medical history.

He reportedly had been scouted a few years earlier by the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox.

But appearances were apparently deceiving, because Trump nurtured a hidden pain: bone spurs.

The 1-Y medical deferment he received in fall 1968 for bone spurs was one of five draft deferments he received in all, the Times reported. The others were for education.

Trump stoically made no mention of his past bone spurs on Wednesday, when he told transgender Americans who have volunteered to serve that they cannot — “in any capacity.”

It’s a shame. Without them, who will replace the countless Americans who cannot serve due to bone spurs?

Sadly, there may be millions of them: The Atlantic reported that 38 percent of Americans suffer from bone spurs.

It’s a wonder we have any military at all.

Fortunately, according to the Atlantic, only 5 percent of people with spurs have “any pain at all.” Trump must have been truly unlucky: the Atlantic said he “would’ve been an extremely rare case to be debilitated by a spur at age 22.”

Trump is indeed a rare case: A man who not only had such terrible foot pain that he couldn’t serve, but also made a heroic recovery, soon after the war ended.

“Over a period of time, it healed up,” he told the Times, explaining that he hadn’t received surgery.

He elaborated: “They were spurs. …You know, it was difficult from the long-term walking standpoint.”

Trump’s recovery seems to be so complete that he once said he couldn’t remember which foot had the spurs. His campaign later said he had them in both feet.

Imagine: Bone spurs in both feet and yet he almost never talks about them.

Perhaps others, like Sen. John McCain, could take a lesson from the brave, resilient president. McCain was a POW in Vietnam, and it feels like he talks about it all the time.

McCain was imprisoned in 1967, a year before Trump entered his own prison — a prison of pain caused by bone spurs.

For what it’s worth, McCain thinks transgender people should be allowed to serve.